How Sales Teams Use Online Reviews to Generate Revenue
When it comes to honesty and ethics salespeople are almost universally distrusted. A Gallup poll on Honesty/Ethics in Professions found that sales people received some of the lowest marks for honesty. Salespeople and advertisers were near the bottom of the list.
That’s the general attitude consumers have towards sales teams, sales emails and sales calls. The idea that anything and everything a salesperson says is a lie makes consumers wary.
Thanks to the post-truth age, it seems trust is in short supply.
It’s not the case. They are not all liars. We’ve heard stories of businesses that put their customers first and do what’s best for them, even if it means going against their own interests.
Take Zappos for example.
A Zappos employee physically went to a competing shoe store to get a customer the product they wanted.
Send customers to a competitor? Who does that? Zappos does, because they’re earning trust.
Sales teams are still viewed as dishonest
What an uphill battle. You start your relationship with customers at a trust deficit, yet you’re still expected to attract, convert and close customers.
In the past, sales people relied primarily on cold calls to hit quotas, but with inbound marketing, brands are starting to earn consumers trust before they even make contact with a sales person. In many industries, consumers would prefer to make a purchase without ever talking to a sales person. But the ones that still need to talk through the product and get clarification on the product or services capabilities still need to trust the employee they’re touching base with.
Sales teams won’t struggle when they have what they need
Sales people are an early touch point and a wealth of information for your potential customers. You know customers are coming in with large levels of distrust. So work with the all-stars of your sales team. Focus attention on boosting their inherent trustworthiness.
Sounds great. But how?
Strategy #1: Focus on complementary reviews
Customers, as we’ve mentioned, have a lot of distrust for sales teams. They believe they’re fundamentally dishonest, willing to say or do anything to make the sale. But there’s one thing customers trust in considerately more than anything else…
Potential customers believe other consumers are more trustworthy and have better judgement than salespeople, so focus on leveraging reviews in your favor.
★ 92 percent of consumers now read online reviews.
★ 40 percent of consumers form an opinion by reading just one to three reviews
★ 80 percent trust reviews as much as personal recommendations
★ 88 percent of online shoppers incorporate reviews into their purchase decision
Customers use reviews to make their purchasing decisions. Sales teams want customers to purchase their products. It’s a win/win scenario.
How do we make this work? One of the top ways is to utilize a complementary sources.
A complementary source is a business or organization who serves the same exact customer you do, in a different, yet complementary way.
Let’s say you’re selling a house. There’s a good chance you’ll need help from another realtor, a lender, an appraiser and a home inspector. Each of these professionals are complementary sources. They serve the same customer in a different, yet complementary way.
Here’s how you do it. (Done for You Solutions)
1. Find complementary source. Every industry has complementary sources. Make a list of businesses serving the same customers in a complementary way.
2. Get reviews from complementary sources. If you’re an established business you probably already have a customer list filled with complementary sources. Reach out to them for a review. If you already have the reviews add them to the list.
3. Post the reviews on 3rd party sites. You’ll want to make sure reviews from your complementary sources are posted on both mainstream and niche sites. Ask them to share their reviews on both if they’re willing.
4. Point prospects to these reviews. When you reach an appropriate point in your sales cycle, point customers to these 3rd party reviews. Then, use these complementary sources as vendor or product references customers can call (don’t forget to ask for permission).
Strategy #2: Passionate Dogfooding
Dogfooding means your business uses its own product to test and promote your own products and services. It’s a powerful way to attract customer attention and create trust simultaneously.
You get the point.
Here’s a different example of Dogfooding.
Jack LaLanne – For almost a hundred years, Jack LaLanne pushed the benefits of regular exercise and a good diet. He swore off sugar, processed foods and additives stating that juicing and a natural diet was best.
What makes his story so incredible…people thought he was a charlatan and a nut. The doctors were against him—they said that working out with weights would give people heart attacks and they would lose their sex drive.
No one believed him. So he used Dogfooding to sell his products to customers.
★ He became the review.
★ He practiced what he preached.
★ He showed the world the results of his lifestyle.
The results were legendary. (Fun Fact -Alcatraz prison was supposed to be inescapable because of the treacherous swim to the mainland. But Jack did it, handcuffed, shackled and tied to a 1,000 pound boat.)
You don’t have to accomplish amazing feats to attract customers with reviews. Just become the review.
- Know your product is amazing?
- Create a demo or complementary product.
- Give customers the chance to see your product in action.
- Give your product away to a few of the types of customers you’re looking to attract.
- Get them to be a live case study.
Customers are hungry for reviews
Research shows customers are actively searching for amazing reviews. They want to hear from your best customers and from your worst.
Customer reviews, on their own, aren’t enough to close the sale and negative reviews are more than enough to push prospective customers away.
Your customers want to buy from, work with and be part of a company they can trust.
One of the best ways to build that trust is by using reviews to show your prospective customers you’re an amazing. Get your customers to vouch for you and you’ll unlock discover the best way to attract and retain new consumers.
More customers = More reviews = More sales
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